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Do You Have the Fire?

Do You Have the Fire?

The Violin Prodigy

A young violin prodigy was walking down the street one day trying to decide whether or not to pursue a life in music when he came upon the most famous violin teacher in the world. Scarcely believing his luck, he stopped the great teacher and asked if he could play for him, thinking he would abandon his dream of a career in music if the great teacher told him he was wasting his time.

The greater teacher nodded silently for him to begin. So he played, beads of sweat soon appearing on his forehead, and when he finished, he was certain he’d given his finest performance. But the great maestro only shook his head sadly and said, “You lack the fire.”

The young musician was devastated. Nevertheless, he returned home and announced his intention to abandon the violin. Instead, he entered the world of business and turned out to have such a talent for it that in a few short years he found himself richer than he’d ever imagined possible.

Almost a decade later he found himself walking down another street in another city when he happened to spot the great teacher again. He rushed over to him. “I’m so sorry to bother you,” he said, “and I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I stopped you on the street years ago to play my violin for you, and I just want to thank you. Because of your advice, I abandoned my greatest love, the violin, painful as it was, and became a businessman and today enjoy great success, which I owe all to you. But one thing you must tell me: how did you know I didn’t have what it takes? How did you know all those years ago I lacked the fire?”

The great teacher shook his head sadly and said only, “You don’t understand. I tell everyone who plays for me they lack the fire. If you had the fire, you wouldn’t have listened.”

 

What You Believe About You

What do you think separates you of now from the you in your dreams? Do you have those types of dreams? You know who I’m talking about. At least I hope you do, otherwise this post will be rather embarrassing for me.

There is this ‘ideal me’ in my dreams. He is comfortable in rather awkward situations, as if the awkwardness is repelled off of him by his sheer confidence. He has a pet mountain lion and amazing breath–even after eating garlic cloves with Cognac chasers. He is a couple inches taller and makes those he looks down on feel ten feet tall. He’s the most interesting man in the world.

This morning I took a couple of minutes to identify what separates me from this idealized me; the notion of not being perfect. Can you relate to this? We live in a hyper-manufactured world where we can literally create anything we think up, and do so rather ‘perfectly’. Wow, how awesome! Yet, when we are left in a room by ourselves, silence is turned up to 11 and we have only our thoughts filling in the void, we might tend to feel inadequate (at least I do) – like our contributions to the world are quite fecal in nature.

This is a lie. It’s resistance-fed fear emboldening its case for procrastination and complacency.

The thing with perfect is that it is inconsistent with the rest of life. We can’t relate to it in our own experiences. Have you ever experienced anything that might’ve been considered ‘perfect’? I remember listening to a song where the vocalist’s pitch was so perfect that it felt devoid of any real emotional value, and lacked a sense of humanity. It felt robotic and not in the cool way.

 

Down with Resistance

It is this time, this moment, that we need to put down Resistance; to become aware of the fear narrative picture show playing on repeat in our head.

Stop.

Take a breath. Open yourself to the simplicity of joyful play – to approach life, to approach what you are doing as a child.

 

Limiting Beliefs

What I believe about me, invariably, either limits or frees me. We all have a script that more or less dictates how we look at ourselves and how we look at life. The status quo is to perceive oneself and the world in a limiting scarcity mentality. Why?

 

No Confirmation Necessary

In the story of the violin prodigy, he listened to someone else regarding his most passionate love, playing the violin. The most compelling part of this story is not that he listened to someone else regarding whether or not to pursue his passion, but rather that he believed that he needed someone else to confirm his passion. You don’t need to confirm that you are seriously awesome. You are. It is the truth. Accept it, focus your passions/efforts, then ship.

Why do we feel the need to confirm who we are? What we are interested in/passionate about?

Good. Now that that is out of the way, let’s get to work.

I take permission to pursue my passion. I hope you do too.

 

Cheers,

Stephen

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